Overland Sprinter Build

luthj

Engineer In Residence
Hey folks. Sorry for the lack of up updates. We are in Tasmania, and having a blast. There are some updates on the blog in my signature. Some technical details and whatnot are over on the Sprinter Source forum.

Here are a few pics from the last couple days.


PANO_20170216_174049 by J Luth, on Flickr

IMG_20170216_122337 by J Luth, on Flickr

IMG_20170215_123058 by J Luth, on Flickr

IMG_20170214_125319 by J Luth, on Flickr

PANO_20170212_162118 by J Luth, on Flickr

Here is another great photosphere. (follow link, and click to pan).
https://flic.kr/p/RW4jD7
 

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shade

Well-known member
How's the Monstaliner holding up? At some point, I'll probably coat my truck from the windows down.
 

luthj

Engineer In Residence
Its working great. Barely faded at all in 5+ years in the sun. It really does resist the pin striping and wayward car doors. My factory paint is garbage though, so if that disbonds, the monstaliner does come up. Mostly around the roof seams. The good news is I am going to order a gallon next spring, and touch up all the rough spots. Should take an afternoon in my driveway. When I am done it will look great from 5ft.
 

shade

Well-known member
Its working great. Barely faded at all in 5+ years in the sun. It really does resist the pin striping and wayward car doors. My factory paint is garbage though, so if that disbonds, the monstaliner does come up. Mostly around the roof seams. The good news is I am going to order a gallon next spring, and touch up all the rough spots. Should take an afternoon in my driveway. When I am done it will look great from 5ft.
That's typical of the reviews I've seen, and gives me more confidence about using it. A moron sideswiped my truck in Death Valley, leaving a long scuff mark along the bed. The paint is still intact and tight, but I should do something about it sooner than later. 5' quality is plenty good enough for me.
 

luthj

Engineer In Residence
First in a string up upgrades. Tern windows have arrived!


I went to pickup the filler panels, but they had cut the wrong file, so I need to wait a few more days. I also just noticed the Maxxtrax interfere with the rear window! Oops... I think there is enough room to rework the rack to move them down. I might be able to open the window all the way then. Regardless I would have still gone with the larger window. One can never have to much vent area!

Stock photo for reference.

1587683394600.png
 

TantoTrailers

Well-known member
Damn!!! Quarantine upgrades rule! I am very curious about your experience. I wish they did custom windows I would have them make windows to replace mine!! There is always the next build.
 

luthj

Engineer In Residence
There is always the next build.
Always. ;)

You could bond an aluminum plate over your existing cutouts. Assuming there isn't any structure in the way.

I have too many irons in the fire. Windows, axle swap, paint fixes. Good thing I haven't ordered the batteries yet...
 

luthj

Engineer In Residence
Here is the filler panels I ordered. 0.08" aluminum. I will paint them to match the body, and bond them in with window adhesive. I am replacing both midship windows, and one rear door.

1587687135336.png
 

luthj

Engineer In Residence
Short update. I just finished the rear axle swap, and hooking up the locker. There are a few minor things to take care of, but the 4WD conversion is essentially complete at this point.

I will now be moving my efforts back to the interior conversion, and updates thereof.

Major items in rough order of priority.

  • Replace windows with Tern units. At the same time, I will be remediating the rust and seam seal failures on the van. The drivers side rear body skirt seam has some significant rust that will be tough to treat. The tight radius inside the window stampings has pulled on several areas. I guess monstaliner shrinks as it cures, and the factory paint is garbage.
  • Battery pack replacement: Probably an LFP pack, either DIY or maybe some off the shelf solution. I will move the pack inside, and target 300AH. Most of the electrical systems will be retained.
  • Galley rebuild: The current galley cabinet is showing its age. Refinishing would likely be just as much work as rebuilding with better materials. My current plan is to design one in CAD to be laser cut from aluminum and/or stainless sheet. I can then assembly with a combination of welding and machine screws. I am not sure if we will retain our current fridge or not. It has worked well, but the freezer is about 30% smaller than we need, and temperature control of both compartments has been less than ideal.
  • Parking AC. Still working out my options here, either a cooled mattress/bed, or something in the 5k BTU range which can be run from DC for short periods.
  • Interior finishes: The floor needs reworked, maybe a single sheet of rubber of laminate? The wallpaper material we used is starting to peel a bit on the walls. I am thinking of using a vinyl product or similar to replace it. Exposed body metal will get a coat of acrylic paint for touch up.
  • Shower: New curtain (several off the shelf options). In-floor stainless drain pan (welded stainless or aluminum).
  • Gray tank: New gray tank for passenger side, near the sliding door. Likely laser cut and welded Aluminum or stainless. I plan to put a bit of insulation on it, and weld a heating tube into the bottom. This will let me route hot coolant from the D5 through it for winter operation if needed. These same lines will be used to keep the shower drain from freezing if needed.
  • D5 and heating lines: Not sure where, but I am considering moving the D5. Its currently location has been vulnerable to deeper water crossings. At a minimum I am going to switch up the plumbing some. Possibly going to an isolated loop with plate heat exchanger? Several options on the table, I just need engine preheat capability, and the current setup is annoying to use. I also plan to add some logic, which allows simple rotary switch to select system function. This would automatically shunt coolant to the water heater as needed, run the pumps/D5 to preheat the engine if needed, and possibly circulate coolant to the tanks if they need to be kept from freezing.
  • Cabinets and Misc: The bench seat will get modified to allow putting the portable toilet on the slide out (will slide out in front of the fridge). It will also get modified to allow easier access to the stuff under the bed. The bed platform may get lightened and pivot function removed. I may put a hatch in though for access? I figure some fiberglass/honeycomb composite will let me shave nearly 50lbs off the bed platform, and provide better insulation for the cooled bed option.


This may seem like a full rebuild. Honestly it isn’t. I am just using different materials to rebuild various items. This is 3-4x faster than starting from scratch. The wiring and plumbing will remain mostly the same.
 
Last edited:

DzlToy

Explorer
Cotton, linen or canvas shower curtains are far superior to Chinese plastic garbage. They can be laundered, last 3-5 years and do not off gas, crucial in small spaces.

I would consider composite shower, bath and/or wet bath areas for the same reason. There is no need to add tile or stainless when you have a phenolic or fiberglass sealed with epoxy resin, which is impervious to water. Kerdi-board, Coosa, XPS and PVC foams can all be used for walls, to integrate drains and in some cases to create structural flooring suitable for integrating tanks, pumps and heaters.
 

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luthj

Engineer In Residence
My shower enclosure is probably going to be something from XPLR outfitters.

1589153969641.png

There obviously is not enough space in my van for a wet bath. I am familiar with composite materials and have used them quite a bit over the years. The metal drain pan is been chosen because its faster than make a mold and doing a layup, and won't suffer from cracking due to the lack of support available with the corrugated body floor.
 

luthj

Engineer In Residence
Taking a look at the window fitups. Its looking pretty good. I will need to put a small bend in the metal to make it fit the window shape. The Tern gasket looks like it will handle that fine.

 
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